I am officially sick and tired of the Republican staffers, lobbyists and consultants in who have spent this week running in little circles, sobbing like a bunch of five-year-olds who just got off the class-trip school bus only to find out the pony is sick and there won't be any rides today.
Here's the wail: Woe to us. We had a gay guy in the Republican conference who was preying on pages. He's going to cause us to lose control of the House of Representatives. Whatever shall we do?
Here's what you do: You strap your helmet on your head; run onto the field; get into a three-point stance; and, at the snap of the ball, hit somebody. Hard.
And then, do it again. And again. And again. Until the final gun sounds.
You might lose the game, but not because, trailing 21-17 at the half, you took off your uniform and went home. If you lose, you should have to be dragged into the locker room; having left every ounce of energy and experience on the field.
You can never know in advance, how something like the Foley-page scandal is going to play. You don't know if, having lit the match, it will simply emit a bit of heat and light and then go out; or, that exactly right mixture of combustible gas and oxygen is available and the match creates an explosion such as we've seen this past week.
Not only that, but you can't know, until after it's over, how long the fire created by the explosion will burn and how much damage it will have done.
Anyone who believes they know what's going to happen on November 7 based upon the data they are seeing on October 6 is … full of it.
My current favorite example is the price of a barrel of oil. In June or July the intra-day price of a barrel of crude was at about $80. Goldman Sachs - pretty smart guys, who look at current and future production, storage, transportation and refining capability - alerted its clients to the projection that oil would be going to $100 per barrel.
Oil closed yesterday at $60.01 per barrel. If you had taken Goldman Sachs' advice and bought options in crude oil futures, you are now an expert in the meaning of the term "margin call."
The notion of Dennis Hastert resigning over this scandal is foolish. From a technical standpoint, the House is in recess until after the elections. If the Democrats win 218 seats, they will demand a Democrat be elected Speaker for the lame-duck session to get started on reorganizing the House.
Even if the GOP maintains control, there is no Speaker-in-Waiting on the Republican side which would lead to a bitter brawl to be the Interim Speaker who then would have a significant head start when the new Congress chooses a permanent Speaker in early January.
My guess is - and this is only a guess - when the cable news shouting dies down, the fact that the Foley matter was not treated more seriously at the time was because the staffs of the Members of Congress knew more than they passed up the ladder to their bosses.
The Ethics Committee is meeting and will take testimony from everyone involved. It will be conflicting testimony - as it always is when honest people try to remember who-said-what-to-whom-and-when several years prior.
Republicans might lose control of the House but if they do, it should not be because they spent the last month of the campaign sitting around complaining about how the gods have ill used them.
"Men at some time are masters of their fates," Cassius said in Act I, Scene II of Julius Caesar. Republican candidates need to strap it on. Get out on the field and fight like the devil until the polls close on November 7.
Else, the fault, to paraphrase, will not be in their stars, but in themselves.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: A link to Julius Caesar, a Mullfoto which struck me as mildly amusing and a reptilian Catchy Caption of the Day.